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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  August 17, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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each other. >> but your larger point is dead on. you've got hundreds of political reporters. they need something to keep it interesting. and they'll do what they can to make it interesting. >> nina turner, jonathan alter, thank you both. the rachel maddow show starts now melissa harris perry in for rachel. good evening, melissa. >> thanks, chris. and thanks for staying with us for the next hour. rachel has the night off but she'll be back tomorrow. let's start with what seems to be the clearest and honest truth of the political moment. donald trump is wing. i'm not talking about the fact that trump is leading in the polls, i mean that donald trump is winning big. let me suggest another idea. mr. trump may win even if he fails to secure the republican nomination and never successfully captures 270 electoral votes. how? to answer that, we must consult leonardo dicaprio. yes, leonardo dicaprio. i'm not making reference here to
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"titanic" hubris headed for inevitable demise. instead, think of dicaprio in the mind-bending film "inception." because in that film, dicaprio plays a crafty mind hacker capable of planting a seed of an idea deep into a person's mind and then watching the extraordinary havoc that such an inception can cause. >> when we're asleep our mind can do almost anything. we create and perceive our world simultaneously and/or mind does this so well that we don't even know it's happening. that allows us to get right in the middle of that process. >> how? >> by taking over the creating part. now this is where i need you. you create the world of the dream. we bring the subject into that dream and they fill it with their subconscious. >> how can i ever acquire enough detail to make them think that it's reality? >> well, dreams, they feel real while we here in them, right. it's only when we wake up that
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we realize something was strange. >> and that is why donald trump is winning. whether or not he becomes president of the united states seems to be less important than the fact that he's injecting ideas deep into our nation's political consciousness. from those speeds have spout add whole trump forest is that is the current landscape of our political debate. we've seen him do it before. remember 2011 and the birther moment, the ignoble nugget of an idea that somehow president obama was not legitimate? somehow foreign? maybe not even born here. remember how that idea took root in the american mind when donald trump decided to take it up as his great cause? >> if you are going to be president of the united states you have to be born in this country and there's a doubt as to whether or not he was born here. you are not allowed to be a president if you were not born here. he may not have been born in this country. i want him to show his birth certificate.
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>> why? >> there's something on that certificate he doesn't like. why can't he produce a birth certificate? >> initially the president treated donald trump as a punch line after that crusade, but despite all the assertions by legitimate sources this idea had no basis, birtherism had an effect. it did not go unnoticed. by april 2011 president obama felt the sideshow had gone on long enough and released a long form version of his birth certificate complete with a press conference in the white house briefing room. inception. now, we're in 2015, supposedly awake from that nightmare, but donald trump is still getting asked about it. and still nurturing that little idea he helped to water. here he is yesterday. >> do you believe president obama is a citizen who is born in the united states? >> i don't like talking about it anymore because honestly i have my own feelings. >> i have my own feelings. whether or not you believe donald trump can, in fact, win the republican nomination, it's getting increasingly hard to ignore one thing -- he's introducing ideas into the 2016
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race and ideas matter. trump's newest big idea? the first formal proposal of his campaign? a detailed let's call it immigration reform plan. one spelled out in a 1900 word policy paper. among his ideas, have the mexican government pay for a giant wall that would prevent its citizens from coming into the united states. he also wants to greatly reduce the number of visas and green cards issued to non-citizens. but the idea that's really getting a lot of attention is his plan to upend the 14th amendment of the constitution by eliminating american citizenship for children born in the united states if their parents are in the country without legal documentation. is. >> the one big thing that will jump out that hispanics will be upset about, you want to get rid of birth right citizenship. >> you have to, yes. what they're doing, they're having a baby and suddenly nobody knows -- >> you believe they're trying to do this? >> you have no choice. when we have some good people -- we have some very good people here, we have a lot of really
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good people. they're illegal. you either a country or not. >> get rid of birth right citizenship? >> we'll try and bring them back rapidly, the good ones. >> so after planting the idea that undermining the 14th amendment is no big deal, he goes on the say this. >> what do you do about daca? >> you know the word expedited? >> i do, yes. >> expedite. >> what do you do about the daca order, this grant for the dream act, however you want to refer to it, the executive order that the president -- that is -- >> the executive order getting rescinded. >> you'll rescind that one, too? >> one good thing about -- >> you'll rescind the dream act executive order? daca? >> you have to. >> so you'll deport children? split up families? >> we'll keep the families together. we have to keep the families together. >> but keep them together out -- >> but they have to go. >> what if they have no place to go? >> we will work with them. they have to go. chuck, you either have a country or you don't have a country.
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>> and what donald trump is proposing there is unconstitutional because the 14th amendment established in 1868 that all persons born or naturalized in the u.s. and subject to the jurisdiction there of are citizens of the united states. but somehow this idea, no matter how radical, no matter how constitutional it may be has begun to be articulated by other candidates. is. >> if a child is born here from illegal immigrant parents, they become citizens right now. >> well, of course, our constitution has said over the course of the time that that's the case. what i've said recently is that has somebody something in the course of an entire reform package. >> so you've got a candidate that wants to talk about getting rid of birth right citizenship. but wisconsin governor scott walker would take it a step further. >> do you think that birth right citizenship should be ended? >> well, like i said, harry reid says it's not right for this country.
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i think that's something we should -- yeah. >> we should end birth right citizenship? >> to me it's about enforcing the laws in this country and to make it clear, i think you enforce the laws and it's important to send a message that we'll enforce the laws no matter how people come here, we need to uphold the law in this country. >> yup, governor walker, mr. reasonable, agreeing with donald trump's stance. there's a lot of focus on his standing in the nation pal polls but we may be looking in the wrong place for his influence. his affect may have less to do with his candidacy and more to do with his ideas which are now the field on which every other candidate seems to be plague. joining us now is the professor of history and public affairs at princeton university and author of "the new book, the fierce urgency of now, lyndon johnson congress and the battle for the great society." julian, nice to have you here tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> so talk to me about this possibility of inception. the idea that ideas in fact that
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trump's influence may be inject ago set of ideas we have to talk about. >> well, that's right. one scenario is he wins and he is the nominee. he's often going to tuglier edge of american politics and forcing other candidates to respond to him often to mick mum whmic wha saying. then you hear these statements and they're part of reasonable discussion for republican voters. >> i'm wonder if as a his 120rian if we've seen this happen before where a candidate doesn't win the nomination or presidency but nonetheless it is hiss ideas or her ideas that become sort of the standard fare for the campaign itself. >> many times. you can remember when ross perot as a third party candidate brought deficit reduction as this big issue in 1992. and said we have to focus on this. both candidates scramble to do
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that. patrick buchanan in 1992 ran for the republican primary, lost but put forth the cultural war issues and said the gop has to talk about them and forced bush to talk about them as well. in '76, ronald reagan took on gerald ford in the republican primaries. he lost but he shattered the idea about talking with soviet union was a legitimate form of policy. >> you know, i feel like, okay, i saw this happen, for example, with jesse jackson when he ran in '48 a' in '84 and 50'88 pushing the democratic party to the left. should we see that as a value in a democracy? >> sure, howard dean brought the war in iraq in 20042004 to the democratic primaries. many democrats didn't want to talk about that. eugene mccarthy forced the democrats to reckon with vietnam in 1968 when the party leaders
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didn't want to talk about it. but there's a dangerous element to some of the things donald trump is discussing. >> if we take the metaphor all the way out, the thing that keeps a person in a dream, from falling into the dream is they have a also the mtalisman, some tells them "oh, you're not in the real world." we have lost the ability in our public discourse to adjudicate empirical claims to say "look, this isn't what the immigration problem is. the birtherism isn't a real thing." and across ideological lines to have a talisman that says "i'm sorry, that's not true." >> i think you're right. there's parts of our communication or media like the intern internet that spreads rumors or statements so rapidly it's impossible to check them. there's no centralized mechanism
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for talking about what candidates say so people can say anything. that's what trump is savvy in understanding. say it enough times people will believe it or they'll be talking about it and it's very hard to take it back. you can't correct it on the front page of a newspaper. it's too late. so we're in an era of media, i think, and politics and politicians are willing to push boundaries of saying what isn't fact and spreading fiction. >> yeah, it's fascinating to watch this all happening and a little bit horror movieish. julian zelizer, thank you for your time tonight. lots more ahead tonight including the only in america phenomenon that is the iowa state fair. plus, we have exclusive video of activists takiing their case to hillary clinton. video that hasn't been seen anywhere else. stay with us.
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not seen anywhere else that you will see for the first time right here. last week, democratic presidential front-runner hillary clinton was confronted on the campaign trail by black lives matter organizers. it happened during a campaign stop in new hampshire. hillary clinton met privately with those activists after her event and the tape hasn't been released but we have it here along with the activists who confronted miss clinton at that event and that's coming up. stay with us. ♪ mother nature can turn in an instant; don't turn back. introducing the new 2016 ford explorer. be unstoppable. ♪ this is my fight song...
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if you're running for president. republican and democratic candidate for president traveled to iowa this weekend for annual iowa state fair and not to rise the ferris wheel, they are there to work. checking out their standing in the totally unscientific cast your kernel poll giving their stump speech atop a traditional "des moines register" soap box wearing aprons and grilling up pork burgers for the sweaty and hungry fair goers and, of course, checking out the 600 pound cow sculpture made entirely of butter. iowa is the first state in the nation to vote in the presidential primaries and they elect their candidates through a wild and wonderful caucus system. that's not happening for months now, but the iowa state fair this weak presents a great opportunity for candidates to show how great they are at retail politics. shaking hands, holding babies, munching on such delicacies as fried butter or pork chop on a stick. yummy great zeal.
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joining us ishunt. kasie, thank you for your time. >> great to see you. >> i noticed scott walker's speech was interrupted by union members. this is as his numbers are on decline. what are folks saying about governor walker. >> melissa, of all of the candidates i've seen so far -- and i've been here since last thursday, if that gives you a chance of how much fried food i've managed to con snum the last 72 hours, but of all the candidates i've seen the situation with walker was the most tense. he has this pretty intense group of protesters that follow him from event to event, a lot of these people were bussed in, but he was the only person who stood up there and had a really aggressive confrontation. that was guy flight the front row and i was standing behind walker as he did it and walker said "i refuse to be intimidated." and the scrum of reporters that followed walker after that was
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also pretty tense the way they had plan too old maneuver him through the fair didn't work 100% well and there were a lot of people who were trying to get clarification on his comments about saying his immigration plan was similar to donald trump's earlier in the day. so i think the visit overall was a little bit more tense for him. now, he did manage to avoid all of the trump mania simply by showing up on monday instead of over the weekend. >> so kasie, you just talked about having that conversation around immigration. you had a conversation with governor walker, let's have a listen. >> do you think birth right citizenship should be ended? >> like i said, harry reid said it's not right for this country. i think that's something we should -- yeah, going forward. >> we should end birth right citizenship? >> to me it's about enforcing the laws in this country. >> what do you make of that? >> well, melissa, this was a question he was asked repeatedly today. his campaign says his position
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on birth right citizenship is we need to pass immigration reform at all but i think it's clear he understood the question and said that he believes that ultimately birth right citizenship should be ended. that shows you the affect donald trump is having on the republican field. it was clear that walker has absorbed what trump has put throughout in saying this among other things. now walker wouldn't go so far as to say he thinks that children of undocumented immigrants, dreamers, should be deported. he dodged that question pretty specifically but this is certainly a new place for him and hillary clinton has put out a statement criticizing him for it. it's something that could haunt him through the general election. >> when you say hillary clinton and haunt while standing in iowa, undoubtedly she is still haunted by that third-place finish in 2008. i'm wondering whether or not you've seen a new strategy this time around and if you think it
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would be more effective. >> you know, one person who outlined the idea that she has a new strategy over the weekend was senator tom harkin of iowa. he stayed neutral in 2008, he didn't endorse barack obama or hillary clinton. he's endorsed late sometimes in previous caucus years but he's come out strongly and he was asked this question when she was speaking to reporters and he said "this campaign i've seen from hillary clinton is frankly a different one than i saw last time." he said she's more personally engaged than she was in 2008 and he was very frank in acknowledging that she had made mistakes the previous time around but that this time he felt that she was taking a iowa more seriously. it's hard for her to negotiate this caucus because she has secret service protection and that makes it more difficult to get up close and personal with voters and the secret service agents do the best they can but at the end of the day that just
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makes it more limiting for her. in some ways she can hide behind it if she wants to. but she's looking to spend time with voters and that's more difficult than it is for some of the other candidates. >> msnbc political correspondent kasie hunt. i'll tell you my very favorite friday fair food is friday or owe ---or east coast. >> i completely agree with. that we are 100% there. >> thanks, melissa. ahead, a first look at what happens when the movement comes to a candidate, specifically to candidate hillary clinton. we have exclusive video just ahead. stay with us. -layered security and flexibility. with centurylink you get advanced technology solutions. including cloud and hosting services - all from a trusted it partner. centurylink. your link to what's next.
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throughout the early stages of this 2016 presidential campaign, the single greatest scramble has been following donald trump. no candidate has drawn as much press or generated as much news. not even close. today while much of the focus should have been in iowa at the state fair where hopefuls were getting familiar with foods on sticks, beltway media were dispatched here to new york. there's no lower manhattan primary or no wall street fair. they were in town today because donald trump was serving jury duty. that is the story of the day. when he was tweeting about how much he enjoys rush limbaugh, this afternoon donald trump showed up for jury duty.
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even trump gets the old slip in the mail and while i'm sure he like most people was not enthused about having to break off from his campaign, he did it anyway. there's a reason it's called jury "duty" not jury "favor the state." one of the keys to our criminal justice system this idea that a jury of your peers ought to actually include your peers. and right now as we are in the midst of a black lives matter movement which was in many ways prompted not just by the shooting and choking deaths of michael brown and eric garner but by the grand jury decisions that felt so incongress grew white house with what people had in some cases seen on video this idea of an objective third party, a jury, considering the evidence and render ago fair decision is central to our american sense of justice. if you look at history, one of the great examples of miscarriage of justice is in the jim crow era in the u.s. where african-american defendants were
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so often found guilty by all white juries. but today right now 50 years after the voting rights act enfranchised african-americans and gives blahhing people the right to choose their elected offici officials we see the "new york times" reporting in some of the same parts of the country where voting rights have been a struggle there appears to be a system of racial exclusion when it comes to selecting jurors. including stories like this one of a louisiana parish that is nearly 50% african-american where a recent study shows that 83% of defendants were black. the average 12 of person jury had fewer than four black people on it. and counties in alabama were 82% of eligible black potential jurors had been dismissed from trial trials that ended with a death sentence. and on and on and on.
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so maybe donald trump's story isn't the most important right now. but even the donald sees the civic importance of showing up for jury duty and maybe with a caravan of reporters covering trump not being selected to a jurors, we can look at who else isn't being chosen and ask why.
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in 2008, more than 130 million people voted that year. they achieved a historic feat. americans elected senator barack obama as the first african-american of the united states. it was a coalition where young voters played a crucial role in where african-american and latino voters flex their electoral muscle in ways never seen before. black women recorded the highest voter turnout of any race/gender category. in 2012 that same low kigcoalit turned out in higher numbers and reelected president obama in the face of variety of voting restrictions that took effect that year. these are the triumphs that
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allow the president to note with some humor that he won both elections but it's important to note those other contests, 2010 and 2014 they tell a different story. the win obama coalition of young voters were less likely to show up at the polls and they were brutal for democrats. democrats lost control of the house and senate, republicans engineered a massive takeover of state houses. when the obama coalition stays home, you can see what happens. and there's the recent electoral history that is staring democrats in the face this time around in 2016. if they want to recapture the white house, they need 2016 to be more like 2008 not like 2010. they need young people and black people and latinos and women of color to show up and show out in order to put them into office. but here's one of the big differences between 2016 and 2008. right now the most consequential movement of young people of color in america is not a
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movement to elect a particular candidate, it's a movement to insist that black lives matter and to hold every candidate accountable to proposed policies that articulate the same. black lives matter is an independent movement untethered from particular parties or personalities and guess which party needs black votes. bernie sanders and martin o'malley were confronted by activists at net roots nation and they challenged senator sanders last weekend when he appeared in downtown seattle. and just last week it was hillary clinton's turn. she was confronted by black lives matter activists during a campaign stop in new hampshire. those activists that planned to disrupt her event but when they arrived they were not allowed inside because the venue was at capacity. they were sent to an overflow room. the clinton campaign arranged for those activists to meet with secretary clinton privately. when it was over they met with
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hillary clinton for about 15 minutes after the event and spoke with her one on one in part about some of the policies of president bill clinton's administration that are implicated in the dramatic increase in mass incarceration it was a con on frfrontation wa direct and tense. it hasn't been released to the public but we'll show you an excerpt of it right now. take a look. this is what happened after new hampshire. >> you and your family have been personally and politically responsible for policies that have caused health and human services disasters in impover h impoverished communities of color with the domestic and international war on drugs that you were first lady and secretary of state and i want to know how you feel about your goal on that violence and how you plan to reverse it. >> you know, i feel strongly which is why i had this town hall today and the questions and comments from people illustrated. there's a lot of concern that we
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need to rethink and redo what we did in response to a different set of problems. you have to be asking yourself is it working or not? what do we do better? and that's why i'm trying to do now on drugs mass incarceration police behavior and criminal justice reform because i do think that there was a different set of concerns back in the '80s and the early '90s. and now i believe we have to look at the world as it is today and figure out what will work now. >> you know, i genuinely want to know, you, hillary clinton, have been in no uncertain way partially responsible for us, more than most. now there may have been unintended consequences, but now that you understand the
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consequences what in your heart has changed that's going to change the direction of this country? and what in you not what you're supposed to say, how do you actually feel that's different than you did before? like what were the mistakes? and how can those mistakes that you made be lessons for all of america for a moment of reflection on how we treat black people in this country. >> i just want to -- and i apologize in -- we have -- >> i would really love to allow her to answer this question. >> i'm not stopping. >> we've worked really hard. we've driven so many hours. >> we're not stopping you. we have a couple more minutes, we have more people in the overflow. i'm not interrupting what you're about to say, i want to give you a heads up on timing. >> well, obviously it's a thoughtful question and it deserves a thoughtful answer. and i can only tell you that i
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feel very committed to and responsible for doing whatever i can. i have spent more than most of my adult life focused on kids through the the children's defense fund and other efforts to give kids, particularly poor kids particularly black and hispanic kids to live up to their own god given potential as any other kid. that's where i've been focused. and i think that there has to be a reckoning, i agree with that. but i also think there has to be some positive vision and plan that you can move people toward. >> well, that was last week in new hampshire and those activists were from massachusetts chapters of black lives matter. and they joun us here tonight. denisha yancy is the lead organizer of black lives matter in boston and julius jones is the league organizer for black
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lives matter in worcester. thank you for being here. thanks for sharing the video with us. i think it's important in a democracy to see how candidates respond. how did you come away from it in terms of your impression of mrs. clinton? >> i feel as if the encounter was good. it moves a conversation about race in the united states to a newer and deeper level. in other parts of the video she goes on to talk about how she doesn't actually believe that you can change hearts in the united states and that the way to affect change is through systemic change and at the same time she was also ducking personal responsibility for the role that her and her family played in it, too. so it was i think a moment of reflection for her to say that she doesn't actually feel like you can move this issue forward other than through policy even though the policy mistakes that
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she and the clintons made got stus in large degree in the situation where we are today with mass incarceration. >> part of what i'm wonder something what the right answer looks like. that's a bit of an unfair question because it wasn't like you were playing a gottscha whe there was one answer. black lives matter activists have showed up to candidates before. what is recognizing the position to movement is in at this point? >> what we're looking for from sixty is a personal reflection on her responsibility for being part of a -- the cause of this problem that we have today in mass incarceration. so her response really targeting on policy wasn't sufficient for us. >> if president obama were running for reelection, if it were his second term as opposed to him finishing, would you be making the same kinds of challenges of president obama? >> absolutely.
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>> certainly. >> i would say that all the presidential candidate this is year can definitely expect to be challenged on this issue and absolutely obama would be as well. >> so part of the reason i'm asking that is some folks watching it through social media are saying why would you go after democrats? these are the folks who are -- whatever your gripe, their better on these issues than the alternative and this has been emerging around bernie sanders. bernie's the good guy, don't mess with bernie. what do you say with that. >> i think the rage that emerged out of the progressive liberal reaction to some of the shutdowns was indicative of this covert anti-blackness that exists in the democratic party. and it's important to say that there's a new kind of leadership emerging with the black lives matter movement that's not wed to the democratic party. and what ended up happening was people were perfectly willing to throw two black women under the
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bus for a white candidate who is the man with the fastest-rising privilege in the united states. he's drawing huge crowds and because bernie sanders couldn't speak, they were telling black lives matter to not speak to allow him. and it seemed like a disconnect to me because we as african-americans in the black lives matter movement are americans. and political engagement is what it seems like folks are always asking of the black community and then when it comes if it don't come the way they want it, it's sit back down, sister. >> it's been one of the most fascinating and just from a kind of journalistic perspective enjoyable or pleasurable aspects of watching this movement. has been an absolute insistence that you won't play respectability politics. and that's the frame work of so much of civil rights and anti-racism movements before this moment. is that a strategic choice? is it just sort of born of the moment? is it part of the conversations
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that you have together as you are working on strategy? >> it absolutely is strategic. and it also is just the way that we're going to get free. we understand that we have to fwrork the margins and we have to take everyone with us. because if you take the folks that are in the -- on the sidelines and then everyone can excel. >> what do you hope to see from hillary clinton going forafter this encounter? >> hillary clinton has a unique responsibility in the role in mass incarceration. the divestment that we saw from the urban housing program, from hud, they divested $17 billion and then they also invested $19 billion in prison construction. that happened under the clinton administration and so what we'd like to see from the clinton campaign is an intentionality in how she deals with that. because right now she's talking around it. there needs to be some ownership
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and hopefully there can be some national ownership of that -- of the fact that there's white violence that occurs against the black community and in large part and this we need to reverse that stream of funding from prisons back into low income communities, especially black communities. >> julius jones, daneisha yancy, thank you for joining us and letting us see the tape and doing the work of democracy. far from the campaign trail, the campaign rumors surrounding him, vice president joe biden did something lovely this weekend. that's ahead. you won't want to miss it. i hel? i heard i could call angie's list if i needed work done around my house at a fair price. you heard right, just tell us what you need done and we'll find a top rated provider to take care of it. so i could get a faulty light switch fixed? yup! or have a guy refinish my floors? absolutely! or send someone out to groom my pookie? pookie's what you call your? my dog. yes, we can do that.
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and look at this. this comes from the local newspaper. the "sun-sentinel." you can see the confederate flag wavers and behind them check out the confederate flag protesters. "god hates flags." [ laughter ] sometimes the best response is a perfect punch line. tonight we're celebrating a great champion of laugher in the service of justice and that story is just ahead ff. the luxury small utility mkc ...the iconic navigator. and get a first look at the entirely new 2016 mid-size utility lincoln mkx. your choice of mkc, mkz gas or hybrid for $369 a month with zero due at signing.
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vice president joe biden has been in the news a lot in recent days about whether or not he'll make a bid for the presidency. but he was far from the spectacle from campaigning this weekend, he was in chattanooga, tennessee. he was there to speak at a memorial service for the five servicemen killed in last month's shooting rampage in a pair of military facilities. the tragedy that has moved off the front page but still moves the vice president. having survived what seems like more than his fair share of personal loss and brief biden has earned a reputation for his ability to deliver moving and memorable tributes in the midst of great sadness. and while he visited privately with families in south carolina at the horrific massacre at mother emanuel church, this weekend marked the first time that joe biden has stepped publicly into that role since his lost his son beau to brain cancer. that personal loss made the speech particularly powerful. he said he did not know the five
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servicemen who were killed personally and yet he said he did know them "they were my son." >> i also know that there's nothing that moment that can fill that deep black hole, the open wound of losing your son, your husband, your brother, your father. nothing can replace the son as he walked away and turned to smile at you and lit up your life, literally lit up your life just smiling at you. made you realize how worthwhile life was. or the husband who knew your fears before you expressed them. whose gentle hand could soothe them away. the dad who tucked you in at
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night, just touched your face, made you feel so secure. the brother who who always, alw always had your back. and the day will come as hard as it is to believe, when his memory brings a smile to your lips before a tear to your eyes. it takes time. my experience it takes getting through every season at least once. but it will come. it will come. and that's when you know you'll be all right. >> vice president joe biden at saturday's memorial service in chattanooga for the five service men killed there last month of the city is planning a benefit concert for the families next month, and the officials announced that samuel l. jackson
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so we can see things others can't. mitigating risks across your business. leaving you free to focus on what matters most. the oldest-living american veteran passed away today. emmett diglig joined the core in 1943 in world war ii. she had five children at just 38 years old. she held the rank of private and served as a driver, a proud african-american soldier. last month she met with president obama in the oval office where he thanked her personally for her service. we remember the people who took part in that war as the greatest generation. it's an honor that is well-known. their heroism and sacrifice are justly celebrated. but the idea of the greatest generation can apply to other
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fights as well. and this weekend we lost the veteran of another battle, the battle for civil rights. julian bond, a founding member of the student non-violent coordinating committee or snicc. he was a politician, a professor and part of our greatest generation. julian bond is not an icon or a hero in some basic sense. he was a flesh and blood person, a man, who was funny and imperfect and self deprecating. >> thank you. thank you. thank you very much. i guess that many of you are probably wondering why a georgia state senator is hosting a television comedy show. frankly, ever since i came up here, i've been wondering about it myself. i had hoped that the people knew that that was my record, too, as an anti-war and civil rights
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activist and as a person for nearly 20 years has tried to stand up for the underprivileged and unrepresented, i thought they may have known that i was the first black to have his name placed in nomination for vice president at the '68 convention in chicago. i was sure they remembered my work in voter registration in the south. after i realized the time and the talent that goes into putting this effort together every week, i realized there was much more to it than my memories of yesterday or the common hopes and dreams that all of us share for the future. there was much, much more. these people had me come all the way up here from atlanta to, to be their chocolate easter bunny. [ applause ] and i am. >> julian bond was the first black political figure to host "saturday night live." he joked about his resume, but it really was impressive.
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he gained national prominence with his speech in the national democratic convention in 1968 when he called for peace and freedom in a time of chaos and oppression. >> 1968 is a year of people, students and teachers, black and white, workers and housewives. all over the world people want to be free to speak, to move about, free to protest, free to be heard, free to live honorable lives, and most of all, free to participate in the politics which affect their lives. [cheers and applause] >> julian bond served in the georgia state legislature from the late 1960s until 1986. it was in '86 when he decided to try for congress, and he ran against his former colleague from his snism isnicc days, joh.
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they became bitter rivals and john lewis was quoted as saying he's a taillight rather than a headlight. there's nothing he ever took the neshtive on. ouch, who makes john lewis mad. but congressman lewis won that race and currently holds the seat and lewis and bond eventually healed the wounds of that campaign, but their rivally reminds us, that the battle is always contested. the stakes are high. bond went on to teach at top universities. he co-founded the southern poverty law seven tssw center, and held the role of chairman of the naacp. and he continued to broaden and extend the reach of what it even meant to talk about civil rights. >> my name is julian bond. as jair man emeritus of the naacp, i know a little something about fighting for what's right
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and just. gay and lesbian couples have the same rights as everyone else. they should have the same right to marry as the rest of us. >> when people pass away, we have a tendency to put them on a pedestal, to make them perfect instead of human, but julian bond does not belong on a pedestal. he belongs where he always loved to be best, among the people. my father-in-law is known for quoting, why can't more black people just be like you. the tie it will tle of the poem that girl." look at that girl shake that thing. we can't all be martin luther king. julian bond died this weekend at the age of 75. he will be a man remembered as someone who won some and lost
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some, handsome and funny, a hero, yes, but more importantly, a real person. the a man loved by his family and beloved by his community. and i am grateful for his life. and that does it for us tonight. rachel will be back here tomorrow. you can catch me on my own show, melissa harris perry, and can you follow us on twitter at mhp show. it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. >> thank you very much. well, we learned this weekend how donald trump is prepping for the presidency. he does it by watching "meet the press", with chuck todd. >> donald trump arrives for jury duty. >> it's a bit of a circus actually out here. >> justice will be served. you're in good hand -- >> people thought last week after the debate performance trump would go away.

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